I have read a number or Lawrence Block mysteries which captures the grittier side of NYC where it's set. Block is an above average mystery writer IMHO. I like the cool romantic dynamics between hero ex-alcoholic, Matthew and his lover Elaine, who works as a call girl. What a contrast to Spencer and his classy professor Susan! This was exceptionally well narrated - kudos to Mark Hammer who even uses his breath to convey emotion.. Good story line with no lulls. But while I like action, the extreme and brutal violent acts of the criminal and his avenger is not to my taste.